Re-platforming my ‘technical blog’ LearnWPF.com has been on my list of things to do for some time, primarily because the amount of spam comments on there was out-of-control, and the blogging platform which it was based – singleuserblog –written by my friend Darren Neimke back in the heady days of 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0, wasn’t an ongoing concern for him. And then mid-last-week LearnWPF went down and stayed down because it couldn’t connect to its database. LearnWPF is hosted on webhost4life, which seem to have taken a turn for the worse recently service-wise. I opened a support ticket with them. And waited. 36 hours later I got the following rather glib response:
We have checked your issue and noticed that the databases are in <different server name>. Hence please use this as the database server to connect to the databases.
Noticed? Really? You just moved my database and wondered if anything would happen? My only other datapoint re: hosting is Orcsweb who are totally awesome (they host logEnvy for me). If someone walks past their data centre and sneezes I get an email from those guys telling me about the mitigations they’re putting in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Anyway, over to recovery mode. I fired up a local backup of LearnWPF.com, extracted the contents to BlogML, wrote an XSLT transform to transform the extract into a newer dialect of BlogML, and imported it into Blogengine.NET (which also powers, if that’s the right word, jcooney.net). Then I customized the Inove theme a bit with some damask wallpaper and wood textures that I edited in Inkscape and viola. LearnWPF is re-born.
Keeping with the colour scheme of the previous version of LearnWPF, I went with browns and oranges, which (back in 2006 when I started it) was my naive attempt to attain the same levels of ugliness as one of the great ugly technical sites of all time – Charles Carrol’s learnasp.com.